Mono black Aggro Explorer

In the new arena eternal, there is no shortage of options to play a single color aggro deck. However, in my opinion, the deck that stands out in the current card pool of the format is mono black:

Deck (60)
Knight of the Ebon Legion
Dread Wanderer
Scrapheap Scrounger
Gifted Aetherborn
Tenacious Underdog
Murderous Rider
Spawn of Mayhem
Rankle, Master of Pranks
Fatal Push
Heartless Act
18 Snow-Covered Swamp
Castle Locthwain
Faceless Haven
Sideboard (15)
Gifted Aetherborn
Graveyard Trespasser
Fatal Push
Ray of Enfeeblement
Go Blank
Pithing Needle

It strongly resembles its version from the Pioneer format post where it proved to be one of the best aggressive choices for a long time. The combination of Fatal Pusha and Thoughtseize are two poles of control over opponents’ aggressive and control decks. These are two of the most powerful one black mana plays in the format and fit perfectly into our strategy. This set of creatures allows you to play around your opponents’ mass removals and point removals very well – they will need a lot of exile pieces to deal with them. A lot of our creatures are also perfect on defense which helps in playing against other aggressive decks – especially green ones, deathtouch mechanic shows its class by not letting us bend under the weight of bigger creatures. We don’t have Mutavaults in the format yet, but the still excellent Faceless Haven replacement is another reason why we are a favorite when playing control decks. Castle Locthwain is also a strong one color deck that helps us rebuild our hand after mulligans and get back into the game.

The general strategy when we start game one after or before the sideboard is to apply as much pressure as possible and only in the next phase of the game respond to the opponent’s threats – unless they are priority targets. So we calibrate the deck this way for other decks based on a large number of creatures.

vs Rakdos, mono red

+ 1 Gifted Aetherborn

+ 3 Graveyard Trespasser

+ 1 Fatal Push

– 2 Dread Wanderer

– 2 Gutterbones

-1 Rankle, Master of Pranks

In case we are starting out, it is worth thinking about leaving our first turn plays and removing, for example, the rest of Rankle in their place. On mono reda we practically always try to cut down all our smaller creatures for fear of Goblin Chainwhiler.

Vs Jeskai Fires, Creativity, other Control

+ 2 Duress

+ 2 Go Blank

– 3 Fatal Push

– 1 Gifted Aetherborn

Our strategy is obviously to maximize aggression and discard cards from our oponent’s hand later in the game. Priority is to play our minions and then Duress cards – pressure is key.

Vs Boros Heroic, Mardu Greasefang, Selesnaya Angels

+ 4 Ray of Enfeeblement

Of course depending on the deck we put other cards besides Ray, but I would like to point out the usefulness of this spell in this format even without Winota. For the cost of one mana we get a card that kills a key creature in the listed decks, and not only them, regardless of the situation.

Vs Jund sac

+ 1 Gifted Aetherborn

+ 3 Graveyard Trespasser

+ 1 Fatal Push

+ 2 Go Blank

+ 2 Pithing Needle

-2 Gutterbones

-2 Dread Wanderer

-3 Rankle, Master of Pranks

-2 Thoughtseize

A popular good anti-aggro deck that we have to fear. So quite a few cards will help us in the difficult task of defeating it.

Explorer is a very open format at the moment so it’s impossible to write a complete guide, I hope the guidelines I’ve given you will shed some light on things that are unclear 🙂

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